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My 10 and a half month old daughter is still not sleeping through the night. She began a routine of waking between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM (sometimes twice) wanting a bottle when she was 5 months old (around the time she'd begun teething). We've tried letting her take a couple of half hour naps during the day, one long nap during the day, keeping her up later, etc. Nothing is working! She takes a bottle right before she goes to bed (and believe me, this child knows exactly when it's 8:00). It's hard to keep her up any later than that because she gets really fussy and cranky. Our 3 year old toddler also goes to bed at 8:00, so we think it's really strange that we'd have to keep our 10 month old up longer than our toddler. My husband has started to suggest that we try breaking the bottle/bedtime routine, but we've been doing that since she was an infant--it's like Mommy and Me time because I feel like I'm ALWAYS at work and don't get to spend enough quality time with my children as it is. So I read to our toddler and rock our daughter to sleep at bedtime. I know that she will have to get off the bottle eventually, but at the same time, if we break this routine, wouldn't that just make her get up more during the night? I just don't know what to do. My husband and I are exhausted, and it's really affecting my work. We've even began letting her sleep in her playpen in our room so we won't have to make trips to her bedroom in the middle of the night! Last night, we tried to let her cry it out, but that just made things worse. Is there something we're doing wrong, or something else we could try? We never had any trouble with our other 2 children sleeping through the night. Any advice you can give will be GREATLY appreciated!


Charlotte Cowan, M.D. Replied: You indeed sound exhausted! Having a baby who awakens you night after night is stressful to say the least—-on a family, on work and on a marriage. I have two thoughts for you. First, you need to be honest with your self about whether you enjoy-—in some quiet corner of your soul—-these middle of the night times with your baby. If she is a last baby, and if you work and do not feel as if you have enough "Mommy" special time with her, you may be quietly supporting this night-time habit. This is meant as a thought and not as a judgment of any kind; I know it happens to Moms with more than one child and it happened to me. I had a hard time giving up those moonlit nights in the rocking chair with our last child. Second, you do not mention how well your baby is eating. Is she on cereal and/or finger foods? Is she getting a significant percentage of her total calories from her night time bottles? Certainly you want her to get the bulk of her food/calories during daylight hours. I would suggest therefore that --starting tonight-- you fill her bottle with 7 0z of formula and 1 0z of water; gradually sneak up on the percentage that is water and down on the milk. You will therefore be getting her calories out of the middle of the night feedings; her tummy will reset to expecting food during the day and not at night. You should see a HUGE difference in one week. This is a time honored trick of mothers across America. Best of luck!
Posted On 2008-08-18 08:01:49
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